Successful Lean Six Sigma process improvement projects that result in increased revenue, reduced costs and improved collaboration are great accomplishments. All improvement efforts – from large, organization-wide initiatives to smaller, department projects, require the involvement of the right people, the right knowledge, patience and discipline. Frequently, companies have difficulty aligning these resources, but a fresh pair of eyes from an outside source can give the right perspective to everyone involved, putting your project on to the fast track towards remarkable results.
Gaining buy-in from stakeholders, or people who have the appropriate authority to make decisions that affect the process is critical. Although these stakeholders don’t necessarily need to have direct involvement in the process itself, their blessing or approval is one of the first steps that should be taken in getting a successful Lean Six Sigma project off the ground and into the air. Building momentum and obtaining buy-in isn’t technically a part of the DMAIC or Lean Six Sigma process itself, but can be the determining factor in whether a project is a success or a failure.
Unfortunately, gaining the approval and support from the appropriate stakeholders isn’t always easy. In fact. it’s often quite intimidating and unnecessarily complicated. Roadblocks can range from simply getting time set aside to discuss details due to crowded schedules, all the way to the stakeholder not quite agreeing or even understanding the benefits of the project being a success. To add to this frustration, if you are able to get them to see the benefits, solidifying their commitment to your project can be tough, as they’ve probably got a hundred other things on their plate, leaving you and your project stuck in neutral.
Consulting: A Simple, Effective Solution
The simplest, most effective common-sense answer? Bring in an unbiased, outside perspective. Our consultants have years of experience and success developing strategies that will not only get the appropriate stakeholders involved, but solidify their buy-in, giving you and your project the traction you’ll need to get the results you want.
Raising awareness and maintaining accountability from everyone involved in your project is an integral part of a consultant’s role. When searching for the best consulting firm or consultant for immediate, substantial results, ensure that they fill the following criteria:
Lean Six Sigma Consulting Experience Inside and Outside of Your Industry
Although experience inside of your industry and with similar types of organizations is an important factor to consider, experience and success in industries and organizations outside and not similar to yours often play an even larger role in ensuring a successful Lean Six Sigma project.
Consultants with experience outside of your industry also bring innovative insight into what other successful companies around the world are doing to become leaders in their market. So, consider the the consultants track record of successful engagements, not just their experience with companies similar to yours.
A Consultant That’s a Cultural Fit
Your organization is different than any other – with different types of people, rules and regulations and moving parts. The same can be said for consulting firms. Selecting a consulting firm isn’t an easy task. Often, organizations resort to choosing a consulting firm that might have had success in the past, but end up delivering a poor experience and lackluster results. These issues boil down to a few fundamental problems – one being that the two parties do not hold the same ideologies or core values, leading them to not see eye to eye. Sharing similar values is often what sets good partnerships apart from great partnerships.
The consulting firm you choose should not only be successful in their perspective fields, but also be a cultural fit with your organization – from fostering collaboration with individual people, to helping teams and departments work together towards a common goal, and beyond.
Choosing a consulting firm that’s a cultural match will make your Lean Six Sigma efforts go farther, faster and more be more sustainable than a consultant that you chose without taking cultural fit into consideration.
A Consultant That’s Cost-Effective
Sure, outside resources like consulting are an expense. However, consider the ROI (return on investment) that an unbiased expert, proficient in a multitude of industries can deliver to you, your team and your entire organization. You should be confident that the consulting firm you select will deliver results above and beyond their cost. If you unsure, the consultant is probably unsure as well.
Though Lean Six Sigma consulting has traditionally been quite expensive and set aside for “only” large corporations and businesses, today’s evolving marketplace has changed this “rule” and smaller, noteworthy consulting firms have arisen, with just as much experience as larger consulting firms, often with more drive, passion and accountability to deliver results.
Now, SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses) can reap the rewards that Lean Six Sigma has been able to deliver for larger businesses. Additionally, results can be had more quickly in SMBs vs. at larger competitor organizations due to less “red-tape” or rules and regulations within their organizations. This shift has allowed SMBs to become more competitive and innovative than their larger competitors domestically and around the world.